CoffeeBeer >> Pint Pleasures >> 2 Fremont Pubs
Outlander Brewery and Pub, 225 North 36th Street, Fremont, Seattle, Washington
Shaun O'Donnell's Irish Pub and American Grill, 3601 Fremont Avenue North, Fremont, Seattle, Washington
As we wait patiently -- and sometimes not so patiently -- for that day when pubs will finally officially and completely reopen, I have two more pubs left over to review from my trip to America last September. So let’s once again fire up the ol’ Wayback Machine -- or the Delorian, if you prefer -- and visit the Center of the Universe.
Back in the 1970s, Seattle’s neighbourhood of Fremont, otherwise known as the Artist’s Republic of Fremont (ARF), was determined, through obviously rigorous scientific methods, to be the precise Center of the Universe. Because of this my friend Mistah Rick and I both felt fortunate that we had found accommodation here for our visit. Not only was it central to all the planets and galaxies, but it was also a good central location for the areas we intended to visit, from the central parts of the city to the outermost reaches. As we had many pubs to explore in our scant three-day trip, we managed to visit only two of Fremont’s libational venues.
On our very last night, after a busy day followed by a social evening, we ended up back in Fremont. The yearly Oktoberfest celebration had ended and not much in the neighbourhood was still open. Fortunately we stumbled upon the Outlander, a fairly basic rustic pub that was full of young people. In fact, the two of us were probably the only people there over the age of 30.
As we walked in we followed the path to the rear where the bar was located. We ordered a couple of pints of Guava IPA and also a Cascade Warrior IPA (6.0% ABV), which both tasted pretty much like standard IPAs. The ABVs weren't listed, and although I found a little information online about the Warrior, I wasn't able to find any details on the Guava. The Cascade Warrior turned out to be really nice: an amber, fairly easy-to-drink yet hoppy pint. And the Guava was the colour and thickness of guava juice but not sweet at all and pleasantly hoppy.
After obtaining our pints we found a place to sit upstairs in what appeared to be a living room, where young women had sprawled themselves about the sofas and were chattering about fast food and the particular mutual aspects in their lives that sucked. In the adjacent room the fusbal machine sounded quite busy, so after a short time we decided to go play a game. But by the time we got there we discovered we were alone and there was no ball available, and we didn’t feel quite in the mood for improvisation.
So we moved downstairs and found a space in a lounge room where more young women were doing their American versions of that awful vocal frying of their British counterparts. We chatted for awhile with a man named Jason about Seattle and Mexico, and then we moved outside onto the side patio to finish our pints while standing, as the place had become even more crowded. I suppose, as it was late on a Friday night, this was to be expected.
The Outlander definitely slots well into a place like Fremont, with its funkiness and appeal to young and adventurous beer loves. Aside from beer it offers live music, vinyl nights, and food, with the menu featuring snacks, hot sandwiches, savoury pies, and sausages. The beer selection, according to their website, is large and eclectic with some unusual brewing ingredients including hot chiles, juniper berries, hibiscus, peanut butter, yams, horny goat weed, heather, and even roasted crickets. I wondered about the Durian Dubbel, which I’m sure probably tastes wonderful. But considering the strong, often disturbing smell of durian fruit, do they have to evacuate the other customers every time somebody orders a pint of this?
On our first night in Seattle we met up with my friend Celia and her husband Paul for dinner. Celia and I were good friends back when I lived in Seattle, and we used to go see a lot of live bands and drink pints of microbrews together. After Rick and I checked into our B&B we walked up to Le Coin, a French restaurant on Fremont Avenue North. As we walked in I spotted Celia and Paul sitting at a table in the corner. The food and the wine were great, and I can highly recommend this restaurant when things are open again.
After our meal we headed down the road to find somewhere to have a drink. As we passed Shaun O’Donnell’s Irish Pub the sound of live music and conviviality drew us in. It was dark inside and quite busy, but we managed to find a booth at the front. The musicians, who were playing Irish folk music on various appropriate instruments, were seated around a large front table. Considering it was late at night and we were full of wine and still had a lot of catching up to do, this was perfect.
I had an absolutely gorgeous pint of Bodhizafa IPA (6.7% ABV, Georgetown Brewing Company, Seattle, Washington). Apparently 5 pounds of a mixture of Columbus, Chinook, Citra, and Mosaic hops go into each brewing barrel, and for a hophead like myself this was pure heaven. Rick went for a wonderfully Gaelic shot of Redbreast Irish Whisky, distilled in County Cork. A lovely time was had by all, and for some reason I forgot to take pictures of the four of us especially my dear (and very cute) friend Celia. I’m usually pretty good at remembering to do photo documentation, but I suspect the darkness combined with the alcohol consumption caused me to forget.
As well as drinks O’Donnell’s features Irish and American food classics such as Irish Whisky Macaroni and Cheese, Guinness Beef Stew, Shepherd’s Pie, Fish and Chips, burgers, seafood chowder, soda bread, and other offerings. And as of this writing they are currently open for socially distanced dining as well as take-away.